In Sweden, an Outpouring of Anti-Semitism—for Which Officials Blame Israel

Dec. 12 2017

Following the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, there have been anti-Semitic demonstrations in many European countries. Particularly severe is the situation in Sweden: crowds walk through the streets threatening violence against “the Jews,” and both a synagogue and a Jewish funeral home have been firebombed. Bruce Bawer examines the reactions:

Svante Weyler, head of the Swedish Committee against Anti-Semitism, told the daily Aftonbladet that . . . anti-Semitism is, indeed, quite severe and on the rise in Europe—especially in Sweden—but, unless Aftonbladet cut something out, he was careful not to mention Islam. (That is par for the course.) . . .

Weyler [also] pointed out that “those young people who were gathered together in the synagogue [at the time of the attack] have no direct connection to what is happening in the Middle East or to what Trump does.” Rarely does a European Jewish leader—or anyone, for that matter—simply stand up and defend Israel.

It is not just European Jewish leaders who, in such cases, feel driven to draw a sharp distinction between European Jews and the Jewish state. In an interview with [another Swedish paper], a member of the city council in Gothenburg, [where the attack on the synagogue took place], lamented the fact that “Jews in Sweden are held responsible for what Israel thinks is right or wrong.” Such remarks, of course, imply, [first of all], that Swedish Jews, being Swedes, are surely too sensible and humane to agree in any large numbers with Israeli (or pro-Israeli) policies or actions, and [second], that Israel, by virtue of its supposedly provocative behavior, is at least indirectly responsible for anti-Jewish attacks in Europe. . . .

The attack on the Gothenburg synagogue may have been immediately triggered by Trump’s recognition of Israel’s capital, but it is part of a pattern of persecution and savagery that has [long] been in place, and that has been systematically ignored, denied, or played down by the news media and public officials.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, Israel & Zionism, Sweden

 

What Israel Can Offer Africa

Last week, the Israeli analyst Yechiel Leiter addressed a group of scholars and diplomats gathered in Addis Ababa to discuss security issues facing the Horn of Africa. Herewith, some excerpts from his speech:

Since the advent of Zionism and the birth of modern Israel, there has been a strong ideological connection between Israel and the African continent. . . . For decades, [however], the notion that the absence of peace in the Middle East was due the absence of Palestinian statehood prevented a full and strategic partnership with African countries. . . . The visits to Africa by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—in 2016 to East Africa and in 2017 to West Africa—reenergized the natural partnership that was initiated by Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir in the 1960s.

There is much we share, many places where our interests converge. And I don’t mean another military base in Djibouti. . . . One such area involves the safety of waterways in and around the Red Sea. Curtailing contraband, drugs, arms smuggling, and other forms of serious corruption are all vital for us. . . . But the one critical area of cooperation I’d like to put the spotlight on is in the realm of food security, or rather food insecurity.

Imagine Ethiopia’s cows producing 30 or 40 liters of milk a day instead of the two or three that they produce today. Imagine an exponential rise in (organic) meat exports to Middle Eastern and even European countries, the result of increased processing, storage, and transportation possibilities. Cows today can have a microscopic chip behind their ears that sends messages to the farmer’s computer or mobile phone that tracks what the cow ate, what its temperature is, and what care it might need. Imagine a dramatic expansion of the wheat yield that can make Ethiopia a net exporter of wheat—to Egypt, perhaps in the context of negotiations over the waters of the Nile.

Israel has proven technology in all of these agricultural areas and we’re here; we’re neighbors. We are linked to Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa, in so many ways.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Africa, Ethiopia, Israel diplomacy, Israeli agriculture, Israeli technology